Land, food and justice in the Hebrew Bible

Dec 21, 2013

Rockland — Rabbi Natan Margalit will give a talk entitled, Land, Food and Justice in the Hebrew Bible Thursday, Jan. 9, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow St.

From the very first chapter of Genesis, land, food and justice are at center stage in the Hebrew Bible. Institutions such as the Sabbatical and Jubilee years gave the land a rest, and even redistributed land to small farmers forced off their land. These exemplified an idea of stewardship rather than outright ownership of agricultural land. The prophets’ tirades against injustice were often directed towards wealthy elites who trampled on the rights of small farmers. There is a land ethic in the Hebrew Bible which has perhaps not been fully appreciated until our day — when we face these same issues magnified a thousand fold.

The talk will look at some major institutions and attitudes toward land, food and justice in the Bible and ask how they may inform contemporary choices.

Margalit was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary in 1990 and earned a Ph.D. in Talmud from U.C. Berkeley in 2001. He has taught at Bard College, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Natan is Rabbi of The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life in Connecticut and Visiting Rabbi at Congregation Adas Yoshuron in Rockland. He is president of Organic Torah, Inc. a non-profit organization which fosters holistic thinking about Judaism, the environment and society. He lives in Newton, Mass. with his wife Ilana and their two sons.

Co-sponsored by the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, this event is offered as a free community event in in anticipation of the 27th Annual Camden Conference: The Global Politics of Food and Water, Feb. 21-23. For more information, visit camdenconference.org, email info@camdenconference.org, or call 236-1034.

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